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Connections: What the pandemic has taught us about food systems


From millions of pints of milk being dumped down drains in Britain, to strawberries meant for markets in India being fed to cattle, the pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the international food trade. The global food system is built around countries specializing in specific products -- think cocoa in Ghana and potatoes in Belgium. But when borders close and demand drops, the system goes awry. People go hungry while food rots. So what's the solution? Experts point to the surprise boom experienced by small local farms and regional food hubs. They argue that an increase in diverse local food production creates more sustainable systems.

This hour, we're joined by the team at Headwater Food Hub to discuss its work building a sustainable food system in Rochester, and what that looks like during a pandemic. Our guests:

  • Chris Hartman, founder and president of Headwater Food Hub
  • TC Washington, farm to school program manager, and emergency food assistance program manager at Headwater Food Hub
  • Stefan Schwartz, director of “Headwater at Home,” and value-add merchant at Headwater Food Hub
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.